What phone to migrate to from Windows Phone?


I know that this really is each person's personal opinion. But I'd like to hear what others have to say about those of us still using a Windows Phone. My first two cell phones were basic Nokia's from T-Mobile. Then when I went the smartphone route on my third phone I decided to stick with Nokia and got a Nokia Lumia 925 with Windows 8 Mobile. Then when an app I liked stopped getting updates on Windows 8.1 mobile I went with an Alcatel Idol4s with Windows 10 Mobile. So I've never had an iPhone or an Android phone ever. And I'm kind of stuck on what to do next, after my Windows Phone is no longer usable of course. Windows Phone is dead, so another Windows Phone won't be a viable option.

But which should I get, Apple or Android? On the one hand I don't want to pay top dollar for an Apple. Sure, they're sleek and now have a good longevity record. But I feel like my phone shouldn't cost more than my laptop does. On the other hand I'm kind of mad at Google for killing the Window's Phone. Ok, so maybe it isn't all their fault. But they did help kill it by not allowing Google services on Windows Phones. Not that I'm a fan of Google services, I got along fine all this time without them or by watching YouTube in the web browser.

Part of me tells me to go with an older generation iPhone. The LG Aristo 2 Plus and Motorola moto e play 5th gen are $150. But an iPhone 6s (or 6) is only a little over double that, with the potential of lasting longer, perhaps twice as long as far as being updated would go, assuming that the Aristo and Moto e play won't get any future OS updates and the iPhone 6 and 6s still has a couple years left. I mean it would make sense to me to pay more for a phone if that phone is going to last longer, wouldn't it? Plus the iPhone 6 and 6s still have headphone jacks even though they are iPhones! Woohoo!

But there's another side of me that makes me want to ditch both Apple and Android and go with an Alcatel Go Flip with KaiOS. At least KaiOS seems to have a better chance of sticking around than Windows Phone did. And I'm not too happy with the reports of both Google and Apple spying on everything their users do. Microsoft and Kai probably do the same thing, who knows. Plus I like to be different. (At one time I owned an air-cooled car, a diesel car and an all-electric car all at the same time with no normal gasoline car like everyone else has.) And going to a flip phone with KaiOS in 2019 (or 2020 when my Windows Phone dies) would be quite different. I prefer to do all my computing and such on my bigger electronic devices anyway.


77 replies

Userlevel 6

Microsoft killed Windows Mobile through lack of innovation, support, and keeping up with the times.

You're going to have to try both.  This is a loaded topic.  These are my opinions.

I've owned both iOS and Android.

I use Android because of the cost, flexibility, and wide options.  Everything from cloud space to music and office apps are free, work with each other, and are useful to me.

I owned an iPhone just to see what the fuss was about. It was too locked down to be useful with my apps and diagnostic equipment.  Pretty sure, but not so innovative.  Plus, I wound up using as many Google apps over Apple counterparts as I could.

Keep in mind I came FROM Android and went TO iOS.  Had I been in reverse, I'd be lost.

For me, price over status symbol.  Function over fashion.

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

To add on if you want timely updates and a low price point The Moto line will be the way

to go , especially if you buy direct from Moto.

Samsung and LG "tend" to lag behind in their updates , especially OS updates.

The Google lines of phones get updates first but the price point is higher.

Userlevel 7

If you go with an iPhone, make it a 6s or newer. That's the first iPhone to support T-Mobile's band-12.

For Moto, wait a few weeks until the G7 comes out. Then compare its features to the E5. Both of these phones support T-Mobile's new band 71.

Just curious. What innovation, options and flexibility of Android do you find helpful for you? I'm pretty naive when it comes to both Android and Apple.

Just following your line of reasoning on cloud, music and Office, I do have an Office 365 subscription. So I use OneDrive and have all the Office Apps on my phone. Although unless I plug in my phone dock and hook up a keyboard, mouse and screen, which I rarely do, I don't find using my phone for Office productive at all. It's like trying to drive with a 6 inch steering wheel and the windshield masked off by 80%. But that's really a moot point since I just break out my 2-in-1 computer and do my work laptop style.

As far as music goes I've been just syncing from my computer via Windows Media Player and playing it on Groove Music on my phone. I don't know how that compares to Android or Apple except that Apple uses the iTunes app and Android probably works with WMP.

Userlevel 7

Windows phones and iPhones can best be classified as "Network appliances". This is particularly true of the Windows phone. They were designed to provide mobile services that integrate with the developers' desktop services. How they do this not supposed to be important to the user. They provide a service, that's all you need to know.

Android has some of that and is trending more that way but there's also an element of geekyness that allows more experimentation (and abuse). The degree to which an Android device does or does not allow this is often the subject of a certain amount of Sturm und Drang among users. As an example of this, there are quite a few Android users who overwrite the OS ROM on their devices with a different version because they don't like the factory version. AFAIK this is not a thing in Windows and iOS phones. Also, for people who are interested in things like mapping cellular signals, Android is the only real way to go. iOS and Windows don't provide the programmer with any way to access information about what type of signal the phone is using.

Userlevel 6

mr_l84 wrote:

Just curious. What innovation, options and flexibility of Android do you find helpful for you? I'm pretty naive when it comes to both Android and Apple.

what I like is each manufacturer has their own overlay on top of Androids User Interface.  each manufacturer brings about different features like a chop chop motion with the phone on Motorola to activate a flashlight, or double twist of the wrist to activate the camera.  other manufacturers like LG incorporate a stylus into some of their budget phones with big screens making them at least near productivity levels like the Samsung note series. 

almost every single Android out there can run Google Assistant for which is pretty much in my opinion the best if not only search assistant ever. Every year brings something different for which the others can build on and incorporate for which at some point Google normally takes note and incorporates it into their stock system.  Outside of the proprietary features from some makers it's sort of like a big project that everybody works together on albeit separately at some points.

Just following your line of reasoning on cloud, music and Office, I do have an Office 365 subscription. So I use OneDrive and have all the Office Apps on my phone. Although unless I plug in my phone dock and hook up a keyboard, mouse and screen, which I rarely do, I don't find using my phone for Office productive at all. It's like trying to drive with a 6 inch steering wheel and the windshield masked off by 80%. But that's really a moot point since I just break out my 2-in-1 computer and do my work laptop style.

I have a 120 GB of free Google Drive space with docs sheets and slides for word processing spreadsheets and presentations.  I also have a 100 GB of free OneDrive space but that's for overflow.

As far as music goes I've been just syncing from my computer via Windows Media Player and playing it on Groove Music on my phone. I don't know how that compares to Android or Apple except that Apple uses the iTunes app and Android probably works with WMP.

I use Google music for which you can upload what used to be 20,000 songs for free I believe has been upped way higher now so I have my entire collection in the cloud and I don't have to have an SD card and I don't have to sync back and forth with my computer.  Also it's there on the network to use whenever I want to use it.

If I really desired so I could use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse using my Android and streaming it to a TV with a Chromecast.

But I think what you'll find to be the biggest factor is the ecosystem for which IOS and Android are known. I have a Google home mini it can work by itself or I can tie it into other Google devices. Apple has Apple TV though not nearly wildly as used as other streaming sticks and streaming boxes or even Android TV. Apple has its own limited featured apps for productivity but most people are using their Google apps on their iOS devices for the most part. So Google creates apps that work across ecosystems.

So Android can move back and forth but Apple stays with Apple. Apple has been known for its great security and privacy however in the recent months that has been proven to be rather flawed.

there's a lot of things that don't translate between the two like my OBD2 scanner and Android app get work with Apple because Apple's Bluetooth policy is rather walled off. sure I could use a wireless adapter and create a wireless network on my iPhone and go about it that way but instead of it just being plug and play in simple sometimes iOS just doesn't work.

I guess at the end of the day you have a decision to make so being new to these two worlds I would suggest trying out both for a week or so each on its base level without tons of apps and a whole bunch of different service accounts. I would probably start with Android first because if you don't like the phone or you don't like some aspect of the operating system you can always try another manufacturer with a different iteration of the OS however with apple that's what you get, you have far fewer options. 

Userlevel 6

Right now I'm using an X4 from Motorola with 3 gigs of RAM and an SD630 I've had really good luck with this phone the speaker is good the network is pretty strong and fast with it given its modem set plus it's very water resistant it has also battery life along with multiple bluetooth stereo setup with up to 4 speakers and I have very very few hiccups. However I am awaiting the Moto G7 Plus. I like that it has a few upgrades like the screen to body ratio, however I'm waiting on that price.

This X4 was only $263 open box at Best buy unlocked and works on all carriers.  Really the only thing it's missing is band 71. However even with modest updates to the hardware there's usually some other good reason to upgrade be it Price point, design or just that one extra feature you needed. However I cannot complain about the updates since this phone started on 7.0 and is on 9.0 as of this past October. So updates are pretty decent with Motorola.

Userlevel 7

There are a lot of inexpensive phones out there that don't support band-71. If you live in an area where T-Mobile has band-12 licenses, they might be a good option.

snn555 wrote:

what I like is each manufacturer has their own overlay on top of Androids User Interface. each manufacturer brings about different features like a chop chop motion with the phone on Motorola to activate a flashlight, or double twist of the wrist to activate the camera. other manufacturers like LG incorporate a stylus into some of their budget phones with big screens making them at least near productivity levels like the Samsung note series.

almost every single Android out there can run Google Assistant for which is pretty much in my opinion the best if not only search assistant ever. Every year brings something different for which the others can build on and incorporate for which at some point Google normally takes note and incorporates it into their stock system. Outside of the proprietary features from some makers it's sort of like a big project that everybody works together on albeit separately at some points.

I have a 120 GB of free Google Drive space with docs sheets and slides for word processing spreadsheets and presentations. I also have a 100 GB of free OneDrive space but that's for overflow.

I see. So they are just little things here and there that may appeal to some people, and other's to other people. I'll have to look at them and see what appeals to me. I do like my camera button on my Alcatel. And I miss my flashlight button on my ancient Nokias.

snn555 wrote:

I use Google music for which you can upload what used to be 20,000 songs for free I believe has been upped way higher now so I have my entire collection in the cloud and I don't have to have an SD card and I don't have to sync back and forth with my computer. Also it's there on the network to use whenever I want to use it.

If I really desired so I could use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse using my Android and streaming it to a TV with a Chromecast.

I mainly listen to music on the road and I drive a lot (did 20,000 miles in the past 6 months). And around here, that means hardly an cell service, if any. So I have to store them on my phone anyway. Which is also why I don't use apps like Pandora. But that's just my circumstances.

Chromecast! That's the word I was looking for. Something for me to investigate.

snn555 wrote:

But I think what you'll find to be the biggest factor is the ecosystem for which IOS and Android are known. I have a Google home mini it can work by itself or I can tie it into other Google devices. Apple has Apple TV though not nearly wildly as used as other streaming sticks and streaming boxes or even Android TV. Apple has its own limited featured apps for productivity but most people are using their Google apps on their iOS devices for the most part. So Google creates apps that work across ecosystems.

So Android can move back and forth but Apple stays with Apple. Apple has been known for its great security and privacy however in the recent months that has been proven to be rather flawed.

there's a lot of things that don't translate between the two like my OBD2 scanner and Android app get work with Apple because Apple's Bluetooth policy is rather walled off. sure I could use a wireless adapter and create a wireless network on my iPhone and go about it that way but instead of it just being plug and play in simple sometimes iOS just doesn't work.

I guess at the end of the day you have a decision to make so being new to these two worlds I would suggest trying out both for a week or so each on its base level without tons of apps and a whole bunch of different service accounts. I would probably start with Android first because if you don't like the phone or you don't like some aspect of the operating system you can always try another manufacturer with a different iteration of the OS however with apple that's what you get, you have far fewer options.

Home mini? What's that?!

More importantly, how can I try each phone? That's what really gets me. I feel like I'm shopping in the dark. Sure, I can look up the tech specs and whatnot. Kind of like knowing the horsepower of a car. But you don't know if you like the car until you actually drive it. Do I just borrow one from a friend for a couple days? Or does T-Mobile actually lend test phones?? I live 3 hours from the nearest T-Mobile retail store.

Thanks for the help! The updates have me a bit scared. One time I did get an Android device, an LG G-Slate from T-Mobile. I was really impressed at first. But it came with Honey comb 3.0. By the time I got it Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean were out. So I never could get my bank's app or webpage to work. Soon after another handful of apps stopped working from lack of compatibility. So I guess I feel kind burnt from Android from that one bad experience.

I'm not the kind of guy that upgrades just to have the latest and greatest. I've noticed that every electronic device I've ever had I've used it until it was no longer supported and apps stopped working properly. I even kept a Vista Laptop for 10 years! I changed my Nokia Lumia 925 when certain apps stopped working due to not being up to date. And now I'm looking to do the same with my Alcatel Idol 4S for the same reason. I don't want a phone that in a couple years has to be replaced because apps don't work. I'd rather pay more and get more out of the phone.

Userlevel 6

Well if you're willing to pay more to get more than you need to get a Google pixel.

or get an Apple iPhone for about the same amount of money and both of them are flag ships from their respective manufacturers who also manufacturer the operating system. yeah you'll pay about $1,000 but you get 3 years of updates or if you don't need the latest and greatest you can get a $300 phone every year.

for me paying 300 or less every year getting the new operating system and new features is well worth it because when I had a more expensive phone I was prone to wanting insurance and that's another $180 a year.

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

I loved the Nexus line because they were reasonably price but when the switched to the Pixel

the price doubled.

I love my Moto but after they sold to Leonovo the updates weren't as quick to roll out but it's still the

best phone under $300 you can find.

I may try the OnePlus line on my next phone. Runs their own version of Android and price point a little more bearable.

My current phone is the LG V30 but it's been stalled at 8.0 for a while but I did get them as a bogo so my wife can't complain I have

a better phone than her.

Thanks for the information. I'll look into them. $300 for a year or $1,000 does sound a bit too much for me. And $180 more per year doesn't sound great either. It's hard to justify paying more for a phone than for my laptop. But if I want a phone that does what I need it to, then I need to get a phone that works.

What are bands 12 and 71 and how do I find out if I have it in my area and if a phone has it?

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Look under the specs of the phone and the lte bands Tmobile uses are 2,4,5,12,66 & 71.

Band 5 is just used in a couple of areas.

Userlevel 5
Badge +12

I would duggest Android.  What you want in your device differs from person to person but Android is the same under any manufacturee skin and can usually be themed how you want it. 

If you liked the integration between Windows Phone and your desktop, then Android is your only choice.  There is a Microsoft Launcher for Android, Edge is available on Android, Here Maps, Outlook, as well as just about everyrhing else you would have enjoyed on Windows Phone. 

Android offers the ability of choice, which is what you don't get with Apple.  Outside of having options to fit your budget and personal tastes, Google Rewards also offer you a way to earn Google Play credits so you can buy apps, movies, music, and other things from the Play Store all through completing short surveys. 

Whatever you choose though, choose what you feel is right for you and enjoy your new purxhase. 

Userlevel 7

mr_l84 wrote:

What are bands 12 and 71 and how do I find out if I have it in my area and if a phone has it?

Bands 12 and 71 are the most common low-band (below 1GHz) frequencies that T-Mobile uses. They are needed for good rural and indoor service. They are also known as 700 MHz and 600 MHz.

Ya, Android is probably the platform I'm going to go with. For one is the price point, although I'm still a bit scared of getting an Android phone that's outdated and my apps don't work on. But I'll also have to replace 3 family members' Windows Phones once they are outdated. And going with three >$1,000 phones is like asking for a divorce. And two, Android does seem more Microsoft compatible than Apple.

I guess what two things I need to get over are 1 the unknown, and 2 just bitter feels I've had toward Google in the past. Like I said, I once had an Android device.  It was expensive, more than my laptop at the time, and very quickly outdated, practically being outdated on the day it launched. The main app I bought it for, that wasn't available on anything Windows at the time, only worked for less than a year on my outdated Android tablet. At the same time I had Windows PC longevity to compare with. Windows XP was still going after more than a decade, and the software developers I got my stuff from were still developing for Windows XP! Microsoft has been good to me since my first IBM PC with MS-DOS, whereas Google didn't seem to care if your Android device got quickly left behind.

Fast-forward to today, and I've largely given up on Google. I wasn't able to put a single Google app on any of our phones because Google never developed a single app for any Windows Phone OS. And since I only have Microsoft's Edge browser on my phone, that's what I use on my computer too. But most of Google's websites either don't work well on Edge or don't work at all. So instead of joining Google and switching to Chrome on my laptop, I've just been avoiding Google all these years, even deleting my original Google account.

But I see that Microsoft has put into practice the old saying, "if you can't beat them, join them." Windows Phone is dead. And Microsoft is making themselves available on Android. Microsoft is even going to switch from their own rendering engine in Edge to the Chromium engine for Edge. And they are making Edge available on as many OS as possible, including Android and Mac. Microsoft is practically joining forces with Google even after pouring so much money and resources into their mobile platforms and rendering engines. I guess I might as well as follow suit and do the same.

drnewcomb2 wrote:

mr_l84 wrote:

What are bands 12 and 71 and how do I find out if I have it in my area and if a phone has it?

Bands 12 and 71 are the most common low-band (below 1GHz) frequencies that T-Mobile uses. They are needed for good rural and indoor service. They are also known as 700 MHz and 600 MHz.

Thanks! That if very helpful! I guess this is what I need to know: https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/lte-band-compatible-devices ?

I do have poor indoor reception where I live. And there is a lot of places where I don't get any service. So this is helpful to know what these specs really mean.

Userlevel 5
Badge +12

I am not a fan of Google or Apple.  I even remove the Google bloat from my devices because I like to use what wirks best for what I need without cluttering up my device with tons of unwanted apps. 

Qndroid might be Google's platform but it is also open to other devwlopwrs and Google's competitors.  Apple, you arr pretty much stuck with their vision whether you like it or not. 

As a Winsows Insider, XBOX Insider, and former Windows Modile Insider.  I did like Windows Mobile a lot and still have my Nokia Lumia 635.  I had hoped Microsoft would have done more with Danger as well to make the Windows Mobile platform better than it was. 

So I'm throwing a bit of research into this that just seems to cause me more confusion. I've been looking at recommended phones from experts like Consumer Reports. So far the consensus seems to be for T-Mobile phones:

$450 and under:

Apple iPhone 7, $450, Rating 75

$451 to $750:

Samsung Galaxy S9, $720, Rating 81
Apple iPhone XR, $750, Rating 80
Apple iPhone 8 Plus, $700, Rating 79
Apple iPhone 8, $600, Rating 79
Apple iPhone X, $750, Rating 79
LG G7 ThinQ, $650, Rating 77
Apple iPhone 7 Plus, $570, Rating 76

$751 and up:

Samsung Galaxy Note9, $900, Rating 83
Apple iPhone XS Max, $1,100, Rating 82
Apple iPhone XS, $1,000, Rating 82
Samsung S9 Plus, $840, Rating 81
Samsung S8 Active, $850, Rating 79
LG V40 ThinQ, $850, Rating 79

There were more phones than these on the CR's list of best phones. But these are the ones I found on their list that are also the T-Mobile store. The list could be much longer if I added unlocked phones into this. But I'm wanting to keep things as compatible with T-Mobile as possible and would like to be able to set up a payment plan for the phone instead of paying for it outright.

So? I don't know. My tablet/laptop is a 64GB Surface 3 that cost $399 brand new, along with a $100 keyboard. So that's $500 for my tablet that's still running strong and is still fully supported and will be for years to come. The iPhone 7 is the closest thing on the list in price to my tablet. But how long until it's no longer supported and apps stop working on it? Is it just me or are smartphones more expensive, but have less longevity than laptops and tablets? Or am I overthinking this?

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

The Moto G7 is coming to a Tmobile store near you soon.

https://www.tmonews.com/2019/02/moto-g7-power-official-5000mah-battery-coming-t-mobile-metro-t-mobile/

Userlevel 5
Badge +12

Although just about every manufacturer does it.  iPhine's tend to feel the impact more with updates and slowdowns once a newer device is released versus Android.  Custom ROM's for Android devicee also greatly prolong the lifecycle of the device software well after the manufacturer doesn't, usually after a few years.  With Android, you also have choice with the Play Store or Amazon for official store options to purchase from as well as have access to plenty of free choices.  There are lots of good free apps in the Apple store as well, but you are locked into Apple's ecosystem.

Anyone, including review sites can tell you what is best in their opinion but only you can decide what the best choice is for you.  If you are looking for a cheaper option.  Swappa sells new and used devices, which are IMEI and ESN checked before they are posted for sale.  You can find some decent deals on there, especially with new Samsung flagship devices coming out soon. 

Thanks! I think if I were to decide right now, it would be this phone! So this may be the phone I get. The Moto G7 Power has specs I like!

  1. It has the newest operating system and looks like it will updated for quite a while.
  2. The big battery is definitely welcome! I bet my wife will want this phone just because of this.
  3. FM radio is very much a plus for me. That way I won't need to carry along my MP3 player with FM radio anymore.
  4. The price is much better than CR's list of stuff.

I wonder what frequencies it will support and how that might affect me out here in the rurals.

Userlevel 3
Badge +6

I did what you are doing more than 7 years ago... I loved my windows mobile phone (HTC HD2)! But, alas, Windows Mobile phone died...😢. I searched everything I could find because I had an awful experience with an iPhone 3S (Apple allows NO customization! 😮) I had been hacking my phone for years to customize the color of the apps, backgrounds, etc. and that stupid thing (iPhone) opened on the apps page without the option to have folders! UGH! or have a home screen! Double UGH! If you are even a little bit geeky, GET ANDROID! Though, Android is now super user friendly, it still offers customization to all levels of expertise (or not). The truth is after 4 years with Android I was loading a Samsung Note 7 ROM on my Note 3  with ODIN and only bought a Note 8 for the more modern Tmobile band 66. You can upgrade the software, but the hardware is what it is.

Furthermore, you said you sometimes are beyond the reaches of towers... GET ANDROID with an SD Card! You can download EVERYTHING onto your phone (maps, music, pics, websites to read later, anything) and still use the phone without connection. Apple does absolutely everything by syncing with their cloud and if you want more room on your phone you must upgrade while most android phones have sd card slots so you can take it all with you. Apple phones EAT data because they're always getting your info from the cloud.

​I MUST CAUTION YOU MOST ... GET A PHONE WITH BANDS 66 & 71 Otherwise, you run the risk of not being able to connect in all places in the next couple of years.

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